Atiku’s Application To Submit CSU Documents Abuse of Court Processes- Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has called on the court to dismiss an application by Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Atiku had sought to submit documents from the Chicago State University in the United States, aiming to obtain President Tinubu’s academic records to support his legal challenge to the results of the February 25 election.

After successfully compelling the U.S. court to release the President’s credentials, Atiku then sought permission from the Supreme Court to present these documents as evidence, claiming that Tinubu submitted a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In response, Tinubu’s lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun, filed a reply describing Atiku’s application as a “crass abuse of court processes.” The legal dispute revolves around the authenticity of academic credentials and the alleged forgery of documents submitted to INEC during the election.

Tinubu said, “It is safe to submit that this application is a crass abuse of the processes of this honourable court.

“Arising from the foregoing, we urge the Supreme Court to resolve the sole issue formulated in this address against the appellants/applicants and in favour of the respondent.

“In conclusion, and for the reasons and arguments advanced in this address, we urge the Supreme Court to dismiss this application.”

Tinubu argued that the apex court should not consider the application since such a matter was not brought before the tribunal within the prescribed timeframe allowed by the constitution.

He said, “In the circumstance, this honourable court is without the vires to consider the said deposition either as oral or documentary evidence, moreso when same was not considered by the court of first instance within the 180 days timeframe provided by the Constitution.

“For this honourable court to be able to give effect to Section 33 of the Supreme Court Act, which is the bedrock for Order 2 Rule 12(1), the jurisdiction of the lower court must be alive.

“Unfortunately for the appellants, however, this jurisdiction died as far back as September 17, 2023, upon the expiration of 180 days from the date of filing of the petition by the appellants. ”

However, in a counter affidavit by the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, he held that Atiku and the PDP did not plead before the tribunal any document or deposition from the CSU in support of their fourth ground on Tinubu’s alleged non-qualification.

“The only fact Atiku and the PDP pleaded in support of ground (d) of the petition, relating to qualification was where the petitioners aver that the second respondent was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election, not having the constitutional threshold.

“The deposition on oath from the Chicago State University, which the appellants are now praying to the Supreme Court for permission to supply is not one of the documents listed by the appellants as petitioners in their petition and list of documents accompanying the petition.

“The respondents vehemently objected to the introduction by the petitioners of fresh allegations of forgery of academic certificates and dual citizenship through their reply on diverse grounds, including the fact that they were not pleaded; that there was no ground in the petition to connect them; that they could not bring in those fresh allegations through a reply; that the time for them to introduce new facts had elapsed by statutory and constitutional imperatives.”